Roses take spotlight during Hamilton and Burlington society’s annual show at Royal Botanical Gardens


Published June 23, 2023 at 7:26 pm

Jason Bank's Princess of the Show rose ELIZABETH SCHLEICHER

It’s time to smell the roses, the “queen of flowers” universally associated with beauty and love.

The Hamilton and Burlington Rose Society Show returns to RBG Centre on Saturday, June 24 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Our Society has always shared the love of roses and our goal is to share the culture and care of the ‘Queen of Flowers’ and to encourage more gardeners and public gardens to include roses in their landscapes,” said Elizabeth Schleicher, secretary and co-show chair of the society, in an email to

Roses have always been a part of history, she pointed out, with fossils from 40 million years ago showing evidence of the flowers.

“Roses are survivors, just look at abandoned farms and homes and in cemeteries and you can find lilacs and roses,” she said.


The 66th annual show takes place at the Café Annex, next to the Greenhouse Cafe at the Royal Botanical Gardens, the country’s largest botanical garden and a national historic site. It will feature a juried display of cut roses and floral design. All roses are grown outdoors in members’ gardens, such as hybrid tea roses, floribunda (a.k.a. cluster flowered) roses, climbing roses, miniature roses and Canadian hardy roses.

Admission to the show is free with the paid admission to the Royal Botanical Gardens or RBG membership. 

Also, a section for floral design will be judged along with the cut rose stems. 

At 3 p.m. at the end of the show on Sunday (June 25), the cut rose stems will be on sale to the public.  All funds will help the society offset costs for its speaker program.

Visitors can also admire the rose garden in Hendrie Park.

Back in 1957, a group of gardeners wanted to share their love of roses so they formed the Hamilton and District Rose Society, which today is called the Hamilton and Burlington Rose Society, Schleicher said. The group is affiliated with the Canadian Rose Society and a member of the Royal Botanical Gardens. She said it’s one of two societies in Ontario solely devoted to roses, with members from beginners to seasoned rose gardeners. The other rose society is Huronia Rose Society in Barrie, Ont.


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